The Independence Blue Cross Foundation in Philadelphia has announced a three-year, $2 million initiative to advance a comprehensive approach to improving children's health in the region.
In partnership with local healthcare providers and community stakeholders, the IBC Foundation Healthy Futures Initiative will address the childhood obesity epidemic by focusing on three critical components of child wellness — nutrition, fitness, and preventive health care. Through the initiative's "Eat Right" component, the foundation will work with the Vetri Foundation for Children to improve childhood eating habits and nutritional awareness by implementing its Eatiquette program at five schools over the next two years.
Through the "Get Fit" component, the foundation will work with Major League Soccer's Philadelphia Union to implement school fitness programs and promote physical activity inside and outside school settings. And through the "Stay Well" component, the foundation will collaborate with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to help improve school health screening rates and reduce the percentage of students with high BMI (body mass index) rates, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Findings from the three-year initiative will be shared with healthcare professionals for use in developing other innovative approaches to improving child wellness.
"One year ago this month, we started the IBC Foundation with the goal of transforming health care through innovation in the communities we serve," said IBC president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. "By partnering with some of the region's most respected organizations and adding a new focus on the critical issue of child wellness, the foundation is primed to improve the health and well-being of adults and now children, even more substantially."